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How much is too much?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Pain Medications
I have been prescribed Norco for a chronic pain issue (coccydynia and 2 bulging disks)and have been taking it for about 9 months. I put up with scale 7 or 8 pain for 2 years before seeking help.

It used to be that 1/2 tablet would work, and I could take 1 or 2 tablets over the course of a day day and be fine. Lately I have been taking a lot more, like 4 or 5. It seems like when I get home from work, I need 2 whole tablets instead of a half to find relief. I have a desk job and sit all day, NOT good for tailbone pain. I do use a special cushion, and cannot take NSAIDs (pill or patch form) because I had RNY Gastric Bypass surgery. I do not take any medication before going to work, only after.

I recently started with a pain management doctor, and am really feeling like I should be somewhat stable in the amount I am taking per day. I feel so stupid when I run out a week before I am due to refill my prescription. For those who have taken the Norco type meds long term-did you build up a tolerance and what I am experiencing is normal, or should I be looking closely at why my doseage is going up?

To be perfectly clear-I do feel like I am taking it for the right reasons -pain- and just want to be able to take care of my family without having to be in pain all the time.


  • Have you considered talking to your doc that prescribes your meds to have you try an extended release pain medication such as oxycontin, MsContin, pain patches etc? I've found that over the time I've been on vicoden, vicoprofen, and percocet that I would build a tolerance and need to take more and more to find that comfort level. I've never been pain free but I like to get to the point where I am atleast comfortable.

    A lot of docs don't like to prescribe certain meds and may even treat you as a drug seeker. Just be honest with the doc and explain you don't take it for the wrong reasons and don't like to take more than prescribed, however, you are in pain and are seeking pain releif and management.

    I wish you the best of luck and pray that you will find what works for you to be comfortable.
  • How much Norco are you allowed in a day? I've taken them for a long time and now it feels like they are losing their effectiveness. I'm allowed 6 per day for break through pain since I use Fentanyl patches. If you're running out before the next refill, I agree with Ming that you probably could use a long acting narcotic and let the doctor know that the Norco doesn't cover the pain. Don't ask for nothing specific because it will raise suspicion and let the doctor determine the proper course of treatment.
  • I'm at exactly the same place with my Norco.My doctor allows me 5 and I always run out early. If you have any procedures or other "cures" on the horizon and you can manage as I do, barely, I would try to avoid going to something different at this point. My thoughts right now are that the less I take, the less I have to get off of if my SCS trial works.
    I am approaching the "what if subject" with my PCP starting today. I have read enough about people getting cut off in the middle of a nerve stimulator trial and the idea is not something I want to happen to me!
    As Ming has said, if you are not getting pain relief you need to approach the subject very carefully with your doctor. You will want to avoid asking for meds by name, try telling the doctor what you told us, or even let him read your post of write it all out and give it to them to read. It makes it easier if like many of us you have problems remembering everything you want to say!
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